Monday, February 16, 2015

My Crazy Life (and I Wouldn't Change a Thing About It--Mostly)

Have you tried studying the bible in a house with paper thin walls? Have you tried? Just in case you haven't, I'll tell ya:It's super hard. I have one hard of hearing brother watching television in his room (three rooms away, just so you know) and I can tell he's watching Hazel reruns. Dear Hubs is listening to the Beatles and other bands from yesteryear in the living room where Baby Bear is happily singing along. I'm holed up in the bedroom trying to focus on Exodus 21 and at the same time holding a conversation with a cat who suddenly does not want to be in the room. As if that isn't enough, someone I've never heard of calls and says she got my name from a friend (Thanks, Carrie.) and wants to send me a gift. All before ten in the morning. Honestly? I blame Downton Abbey, Tyler Florence and Anne Burrell.

Yes, I heard those tires screech. I heard the needle scratch the record as it stopped. I can see the large question mark over your head as you scream HUH????

Okay, so last night I just had to see the current episode of Downton. Had to. Hubs says that's my soap opera. And he's right. I also got hooked on watching Worst Cooks. Last night was the finale. Problem is, both of those shows inhabit the same time slot. Easy choice most of the time. I just watch Worst Cooks on Saturday to catch up. Last night i decided it would be worth it to stay up to watch the midnight airing of Worst Cooks so I could see who won. (No, I'm not telling.)

So what happens when the early bird stays up to watch a tv show? She wakes up later than her normal time and the boys tend to be awake as well. So she retreats into the bedroom with the laptop to focus on reading. She needs to invest in noise blocking headphones. She's going to stop referring to herself in third person now.

As of this very moment it's closing in on eleven in the morning.  Everyone is in their jammies. Breakfast hasn't even been thought of until now. Baby Bear, usually our huge reminder that food is important, is content to listen to the music. The only things accomplished on this lazy Monday morning is the aforementioned Bible study and an online job search by the Hubs. Yes, that search is ongoing for now. 

In just a few moments brunch will be attended to. We will begin our day, if a little late. Chores will get done. Order will be restored once again. But I enjoy slow mornings now and then. I like the chaos that ensues --not the fact that sometimes it distracts me from my learning (I have a feeling I'll be going over Exodus 21 again sometime tonight. Or at least I hope to.)  but I love my family. I like that there are days where we can all take the time to breathe and just be instead of running from one activity to the next. Those will happen soon enough, and will develop into a pattern that lasts for quite awhile. And although I may complain about the hustle and bustle, I hope I'll take the time to reflect and enjoy those moments as well.

Yup, that's me, just in the older abode before this house. Enjoy your day. I know I'm going to enjoy mine. :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

"Helpful" Advice: A Plea From a Guardian

Since the death of my mother,  I have assumed guardianship for my brother.  It's an honor, a pleasure, and both something I've expected to do for a long while and a responsibility that I take seriously. Well meaning people have questioned my decision to take him in when I already deal with Baby Bear and his needs. I've thought about that myself, and prayed about it. I still believe this arrangement is best for everyone. 

While the day to day life has settled down a bit and we are figuring out (still) how to make life run smoothly for everyone, sometimes we do hit a snag. Sometimes it is an easy fix, sometimes not, just as it would be in any family. Today we ran into a brick wall of sorts, and it is heartbreaking for my brother, but much more for me. 

Because of his disabilities, my brother cannot get his driver's license.  As sister I would love to get him that much wanted document. Well meaning family would too, and they have a habit of encouraging him to try. For all well meaning, loving people out there, may I please say STOP IT. Please do not undermine the parent, guardian, or other person responsible for someone's safety and well being. It makes it harder to do our jobs when we are confronted not only with "I want" but also "so and so says...". I know you have the best of intentions and love B. and others like him. That is wonderful. But discuss it with the guardian first, please.

Do you realize the impact your words have on B. (or other friend/ loved one) and his relationship with me? You say things off the cuff, whether you truly believe what you say to be true, or because you would rather not tell the truth in order to spare his feelings. Then you leave and I get to be the one to be the meanie and crush his feelings (at least that's how I feel). 

In my own situation, I've been around longer. I've seen what my brother is and is not capable of. I know what the government has to say about certain aspects of his life (whether or not I agree with their assessment is another story entirely). I can see more clearly the frustration my mother felt when I or someone else tried to give our own two cents. Yes, sometimes she would listen to advice, but for 57 years, give or take, she was the one who lived with him and took care of him. She knew what was best. 

Believe me, I would love it if B. could get his license. But there are safety issues you aren't seeing. Never mind the financial issues that come with that piece of paper and plastic.  Saying no to my brother on anything is very hard. He's older than I am for one thing. The main reason is I love him dearly and don't want to see him hurt, whether emotionally or physically.

Lest anyone think I am speaking directly to one or more certain persons, I am not. I'm just putting out there what I see in general. Family and friends are very important and should be there to encourage and help, not to cause problems, intentionally or unintentionally.